Sandra Tribute: Post Two by Gena Ratcliff

Sandra Moran
December 20,1968-November 7, 2015 

Today hearts are breaking.
Today tears fall around the world as we mourn your passing.
Today begins those unavoidable five stages of grief for those of us that loved you.

You: the wife, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the teacher, the mentor, the author and, of course, the runner… you were all of these and more. You touched each of us in different ways, so open, so very generous and inclusive in building your global family. From the first of our many online chats, you made me feel like an important part of your inner circle–we were long lost friends just found. We’d chatted about meeting at a couple of events here in Texas, but my circumstances didn’t cooperate. When, at last, we met in New Orleans our conversations were in passing or at the end of panels… there was so much going on. My thoughts at the end of the conference were “we’ll have time at the next event, no worries”, but there will be no more opportunities. I am certain I’m not alone in that hind-sight phenomenon but I abhor regrets and refuse to give in to them. I am forever grateful that I got to know you in the short time we were given.

There will be stories of you spurred by memories of friends and loved ones, re-sharing of lots of blurry photos, goofy but apt pie charts, blogs by you and about you, and readers new and old getting to know you via the reading of the magnificent books you left to us.

About those books… what a gift you have given us; each one illustrating our connection through time, distance, history and religion. Your care with research, the respect inherent in your presentation, your quiet but laser-like humor and your intricate weaving of those things into the ‘story’ always encourages us to think, to examine more than what the characters are doing. We are gently nudged (yes, that) to examine what we would do, how we would feel. Your gift to us never ends with the last page of the story.

I am reminded of words written long ago by Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet. When asked to speak of death, the Prophet said many wise things but these were the words that stood out for me:

“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand to seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

We, the living–the left-behind, grieve our loss of you in our world, each in our own way and in our own time. You will be missed, my friend, but your all too brief time with us will be celebrated with each day’s sunrise, and while you shine down upon us we will join you the the glories of singing, continue to climb those mountains placed in our paths and dance with you in joyous, ‘interpretive’ abandon.

Rest well dear friend. You will be forever in my heart.

Gena Ratcliff on Facebook:

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Sandra Tribute Post One

Layne Beckman: It is a sad day today in this world of ours. We lost on of the good ones last night to Cancer at age 45. I’m pretty sure Sandra Moran had no idea as to exactly how many lives she has touched! The good ones never do, because they are just being themselves and doing what they should be doing. Sandra lifted people up with her smile, effervescent spirit and love. She never shook your hand upon meeting her it seemed to me at the very least a one armed hug. I’ll remember Sandra by loving people up when they are down, down trotted, irritating, obnoxious and plain old ignorance and homophobic. I’m gonna love them up in my heart, for I believe that is part of the legacy Sandra has and would want to continue. Your pain is gone and you can rest my friend.

Sallyanne Monti: I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Sandra Moran personally, only through some of the people who’s lives she has profoundly impacted during the short time she was on this planet. What I do know is that every now and then a person comes along in life who everyone respects, everyone loves and everyone wants to be like in some way, shape or form. This is what I’ve come to know is Sandra Moran. A wife, a friend, an author, a mentor, a muse and an amazing influence on everyone who had the opportunity to know her. Sending sincere condolences to Sandra’s wife and their families, my literary buddies and all the people who are dealing with the untimely and unexpected loss of this remarkable women. Life is fragile and as we age the ability to remember things wanes. Keep remembering Sandra always, and keep her memory and contributions alive anyway you can. RIP Sandra.

A Beautiful Soul Has Walked into the Light

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12191770_1145110608850586_4211478701508988162_nI want to honor Sandra Moran and her extraordinary life. She touched my heart, was there when I needed her most, gave the best hugs and made me laugh. My prayers are with her wife, family and all of her devoted friends.

If you would like to share pictures, write a blog, share a vlog or video, please send me an email and I will get it up on my website as soon as possible.

Here is my first interview with Sandra….a start to a wonderful friendship. Enjoy!

LOL Call for Submissions – Update: Deadline Extension

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LOL CoverPublisher: The Liz McMullen Show Publications
Selections Editor: Liz McMullen
Deadline EXTENDED: April 18, 2016
Publication: Fall of 2016
Payment: $50 plus two paperback copies, and an eBook
Rights: The Liz McMullen Show Publications requires the right to publish the original story in the above-mentioned anthology, in print, digital and audio forms, exclusively for one year after publication (exceptions made for “year’s best” anthologies) and non-exclusively thereafter. The author retains copyright.

I’m looking for essays and short stories that will make readers bust out laughing. The kind you shouldn’t read next to a sleeping partner or slumbering pet. No need to scare them awake with a bark of laughter or a case of the giggles. And yes folks, grown women get the giggles too.

Subject matter/brand of humor is up to the author: political, current events, situational comedy, dry humor, humor in the every day etc.

Guidelines:
• Previously unpublished work only
• Lesbian Fiction or Lesbian Non-Fiction are the preferred genres
• Preferred Length:
• Essays: 2,000 to 4,000 Words
• Short Stories: 3,000 to 4,000 Words
• 12 pt. Times New Roman, double spaced
• Indent for paragraphs
• No spaces between paragraphs
• Poorly formatted/edited submissions will not be accepted
• Submit your stories in .doc or .docx here: thelizmcmullenshow@gmail.com
• Multiple submissions are permitted, simultaneous submissions are not
• No erotica. You may include limited romantic content, but only if it’s necessary for the plot of your story.
• Indicate your name and the name of the piece in both the subject heading of your email and in the word document you are submitting.
• If you are using a pen name, please provide both your pen name and your legal name in your submission.

Sandra Moran
inspired me in so many ways. She always gave to others selflessly, especially when it came to guiding future lesbian fiction authors.

So in the spirit of #moranstrong, I’ve decided to donate a portion of the royalties for the upcoming Lizzie’s Bedtime Stories LOL Anthology to the Golden Crown Literary Society Writing Academy, for tuition specifically.

To learn more about the GCLS Writing Academy, the only creative writing program specifically for lesbian fiction, visit their website.

Sandra was one of the very first faculty members to sign up for the program, and I was blessed to work with her, in a supporting role. She gave her students so many pearls of wisdom, and more than a few laughs. And the fact that Sandra was one very funny woman, made the scholarship the perfect charity for the LOL Anthology.